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Australian Statement for the Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Myanmar

22 September 2020

We thank the Special Rapporteur for his update.

Australia remains very concerned about the humanitarian crisis and ongoing conflict in Rakhine State.  We call for the cessation of hostilities, protection of civilians, adherence to international law, including on the prevention of violence against women, and unimpeded humanitarian access.

Australia urges Myanmar to make progress on durable solutions, including the creation of conditions conducive to safe, dignified, voluntary and sustainable returns of displaced Rohingya.  We welcome UN and ASEAN efforts in this regard, and we acknowledge Bangladesh's generosity in hosting displaced Rohingya.

It is critical Myanmar fully implements the Rakhine Advisory Commission's recommendations, including according the Rohingya freedom of movement and access to basic services and livelihoods.

Amid the rising COVID-19 caseload in Rakhine State, we welcome the partial restoration of internet services, and encourage full restoration, including for pandemic awareness as well as the November elections.

Australia calls on Myanmar to ensure these elections are open and inclusive, and to work with marginalised and displaced communities – particularly women and those in conflict areas and with restricted freedom of movement – so they can participate freely and safely.

Australia acknowledges Myanmar's engagement with the International Court of Justice to date, and urges that such cooperation extend to other international accountability mechanisms, including the Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar.

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